For more than the first half of Microsoft's foray into the videogame world, players looked on with interest for years as they waited for the next Halo game to materialize. Recently, with the releases of Halo Wars, Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach, that wait has been reduced to 12 months or less. Expect that trend of short waits to continue, though perhaps not necessarily on an annualized pace. Corporate Vice President for Microsoft Game Studios Phil Spencer told IGN that, "There's no explicit strategy that says we're to ship a Halo game every year. I will say I think one Halo game every three years -- which was kind of our old cadence – is probably not frequent enough." Spencer noted the long life of the Halo franchise and pointed out that leaving such large gaps in between releases can be detrimental to audience engagement. "We're coming up on, what, next year is the 10th anniversary. You watch the change in gamers in 10 years. The percentage of players who are playing Reach that were I'll say not old enough to play Halo 1 at the time, 10 years is a long time between launches. We definitely think about a more persistent Halo engagement for customers and not going dark for two years, and Live helps obviously with multiplayer to keep people engaged." "343 Industries is thinking a lot about how to take this franchise and turn it into something that people feel like they have an ongoing relationship with and they can entertain themselves more often. But it's not, hey every November 6 or whatever we have to ship a game and build a production plan around that. We want to do things that make sense as a first party." Asked if Microsoft took cues from the success Activision has had with its annualized Call of Duty franchise, Spencer had high praise for the mega-publisher. "I'll just, again, be honest as a gamer. I used to look at annual releases of non-sports games as people just trying to milk me. I figured nobody had enough time to do a good job, and all of the negatives that we would associate with those kinds of scenarios. Kudos to Activision because they've done a good job building a good game, continuing to release each year and I think the fans feel like it's a good thing that they do that. I think there are some things to learn, some positives and some opportunities, in what they do with that. Obviously they've kept the quality extremely high, which I think is important." "We have some unique challenges and opportunities with Halo because it is a story based game built around a certain set of characters, which is a bit different than what they do with Call of Duty. Not better or worse, it's just different. But watching them and seeing what they do -- we take inspiration from a lot of places -- but obviously they're a big success." If Microsoft annualized the Halo franchise, would you continue to buy each release? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts. [/p] Source Moo. Just fucking moo.